This side chair is one of an assembled set of six English late Baroque, ca. 1740 carved walnut and walnut-veneered side chairs (HC.F.1914.014-019[SF]). This chair may be one of the two acquired in 1914 (see Acquisition History), as it and 016 have a darker finish than the other four. The back is designed with a crest rail and splat of opposed, interlaced openwork “figure eights,” framed by serpentine S-shaped side stiles, all worked in walnut veneer. The upper loop of the pierced splat is crowned with a lobed ruffle motif, and the lower loop is ornamented with a pierced and carved rosette, beneath which is a carved knot-and-tassel between bilaterally symmetrical S volutes resting on a plinth. The rectangular seat is raised on solid walnut front legs of cabriole shaping with carved knees of “kidney bean cabochon” motif mantled by foliage that continues onto the carved and shaped solid walnut front rail. The feet of the legs have scrolled toes. The interior glue blocks of the slip-seat rails have been replaced. The upholstery is not original and has a yellow slub silk with applied antique (possibly Baroque) embroidery of silk and metal threads.
The interlaced ribbon-back design of this chair is reminiscent of chair designs published by William de la Cour in First Book of Ornaments (London, 1741) and by Matthias Darly in Second Book of Chairs (London, ca. 1751).
Two (of an assembled set of six chairs) purchased from C. H. Kindermann, London (dealer), by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, 2/14/1914, to match another four already in their collection and possibly also acquired from C. H. Kindermann at an unknown date;
Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, D.C., 1914 (or before)-11/29/1940.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, D.C.